Wing Chun is a fighting system from from southern China that has its origins in the town of Foshan in the Canton province. In our times it has become famous because, under the late Grandmaster Ip Man, it was the major system that Bruce Lee studied and was the cornerstone of all of his martial arts concepts and theories. It is very popular in Hong Kong because of its straightforward efficiency and its close quarters effectiveness in practical self defense situations.
So the story goes, Wing Chun was developed by a buddhist nun named Ng Mui. She passed it on to a young girl from Foshan named Yim Wing Chun from whom it derives its name. Recent historical research has brought this story into question. We are not really sure what the origin of Wing Chun is but perhaps the metaphor that it was developed by a woman is more important than verifiable historical fact. What Wing Chun insists in both principle and practicality is that a smaller or less strong person can deal with a larger person in a self defense situation if they do the right things.
Wing Chun is a system that teaches a student not to clash force against force but to redirect it while insinuating oneself inside of the opponents defenses. It is a system that teaches a student that direct, efficient and economical motion gives decisive results in a fight. It is an aggressive system that emphasizes simultaneous attack and defense and continuation of strike to vital areas. Wing Chun is a system that is well suited to the solving the problems posed by today’s self defense situations.
Although an explosive fighting style, Wing Chun is also a wonderful way of maintaining one’s health and flexibility. As Ip Man’s son, Ip Chun,always says, “The primary purpose of Wing Chun is to improve one’s health.” For the most part, the average person has the privilege this day and age to practice Wing Chun for their own pleasure and self improvement. Nevertheless, at the root of it all is the idea one has learned a system in which one can have confidence should the need arise.